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definition of the word least

by the Wiktionnary

Rank of this word in the English language, from analyzing texts from Project Gutenberg.
says wife hear #310: least person case fact

least (comparative less)

  1. Superlative form of little: most little.;The smallest amount of [something uncountable].
    He earns the least money in his family.
    Of all the sisters, she has the least patience.
    I can only afford to pay the least of the bills.
    • 1857, Edmund March Blunt, The American Coast Pilot: Containing Directions for the Principal Harbors, E. & G.W. Blunt, page 135:
      The least water we could find there was 4 fathoms, which bears from the point S.E., and is distant 1½ mile.
    • 2004, Jim Baggott, Beyond Measure: Modern Physics, Philosophy, and the Meaning of Quantum Theory, Oxford University Press, page 48:
      Light does not need to know in advance which is the path of least time because it takes all paths from its source to its destination.

Some grammarians recommend to use least only with uncountable nouns, as in the examples above with the smallest amount of sense:

To such grammarians least is the superlative of a little, not that of little, so it does not mean smallest, but the smallest amount of. With plural nouns, they recommend fewest.


Definition from Wiktionary
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